Sunday Million: JNETS goes from short stack to champion, Team Pro Kosei Ichinose 4th

Poker players love to walk the razor's edge and for most, a final table with pay jumps this significant is more than enough to satisfy that urge.

Conor "Earl Hindman" Shelly added one more layer of anxiety to his situation tonight. The longtime online grinder and former Supernova Elite played the Sunday Million using a wireless keyboard that was rapidly running out of juice... and he could not find the charger. As he told his opponents, it was only a matter of time before his keyboard went dead.

Earl Hindman made the best of his situation and with six players remaining, he held a commanding chip lead, his stack more than four times the size of his closest competitor. However, Earl Hindman hit a cold streak and lost the chip lead when he doubled up Team PokerStars Pro Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose and lost a huge pot to JNETS. Although Earl Hindman had been reluctant before, he agreed to discuss a deal and the final four were able to come to an agreement. After the deal was struck, Earl Hindman put away K. Ichinose, but ended up going out in third place when JNETS cracked his pocket aces with pocket nines (9 on the river!).

Instead, the two shortest stacks to start the final table ended up heads-up for the title-- JNETS and gortsos. Although JNETS started heads-up play at a slight disadvantage, it didn't take long for him to climb into the chip lead. However, it took a cooler to end this match, and JNETS's pocket kings held on against pocket jacks to capture $127k and a Sunday Million title.

Tonight's Sunday Million drew 5,434 players, resulting in a $1.086,800.00 prize pool 764 places were paid with $154,536.16. up top.

The blinds were up to 100,000/200,000 with ten players remaining. Brunodellas opened for 442,000 from UTG and short stack Wannarockies three-bet shoved for 1.92 million from the small blind with A♦J♦. Brunodellas snap-called with K♠K♣. Although Wannarockies flopped a jack on the J♥3♥2♣4♦4♣ board, he didn't improve any further and went out in tenth place, sending us to the final table.

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Final table chip counts

Seat 1: K. Ichinose (9,884,670 in chips)
Seat 2: JNETS (2,661,248 in chips)
Seat 3: OneTime1Time (4,731,659 in chips)
Seat 4: $uper$ick785 (3,111,471 in chips)
Seat 5: gortsos (1,824,592 in chips)
Seat 6: Brunodellas (10,389,494 in chips)
Seat 7: Earl Hindman (8,443,456 in chips)
Seat 8: Bazeman11 (3,416,184 in chips)
Seat 9: lykD (9,877,226 in chips)

As the final table began, Earl Hindman let his opponents know there was a distinct possibility he could end up being blinded out of this tournament. His wireless keyboard was running out of juice and he had no way to charge it.

Earl Hindman: this is literally just a race to see if this tournament ends before my keyboard dies and i cant find the charger

Earl Hindman wasn't the only one living on borrowed time. Short stack gortsos was in serious need of a double-up and he soon moved all-in for 1.78 million from the hijack. LykD called from the big blind, his A♥Q♥ dominating gortsos's A♠9♣. However, gortsos was saved by the flop, pairing his kicker when it came down T♦9♠3♠. The pair of nines held up through the 8♣ turn and the 6♦ river, doubling his stack to 3.85 million.

LykD fell to 7.46 million after the hand and took another hit when he doubled up JNETS. Holding Q♦J♦, JNETS three-bet shoved for 1.76 million preflop and initial raiser lykD called with 8♣9♣. JNETS made top two pair when the flop fell Q♠J♠9♠ and turned queens full with the Q♣. The 9♦ river gave lykD a smaller boat and JNETS doubled to 4 million, leaving lykD on 5.09 million.

Now $uper$ick785 was the short stack and with the blinds up to 125,000/250,000, he picked up 8♦8♣ and three-bet shoved... only to run them right into Earl Hindman's A♠A♥. Earl Hindman flopped a set of aces and rivered aces full of queens, ending $uper$ick785's run in ninth place.

Shortly thereafter, Brunodellas opened for 552,500 and got two callers-- Earl Hindman on the button and lykD in the big blind. LykD checked the T♥4♠2♦ flop over to Brunodellas, who bet 733,420. Earl Hindman called and lykD raised all-in for 3.85 million. Brunodellas gave up his hand but Earl Hindman called and tabled 4♣4♥ for middle set. LykD's top pair with K♠T♣ was in dire shape and he didn't get a miracle on the Q♠ turn or the 8♦ river, spelling an eighth-place finish. Earl Hindman moved up to 21.4 million and was now the runaway chip leader.

OneTime1Time was next to fall, his A♠K♣ losing a race to JNETS's T♦T♣ to go out in seventh. Then, with one card to come, Bazeman11 was a 89% favorite to go out in sixth place, his A♦7♠ up against JNETS's 8♣8♦ on a J♠7♥4♠9♣ board. However, Bazeman11 spiked the 7♦ on the river to make trips and double to 6.34 million.

At this stage, Earl Hindman was nearing 26 million in chips while the rest of the field sported stacks between 4 and 6.5 million apiece. But four hands after Bazeman11's clutch double-up, Brunodellas picked up A♣K♥ and open-shoved for 4.1 million on the button. Bazeman11 called from the big blind with pocket tens and made top set when the flop came down T♦6♦2♠. The 4♥ turn left Brunodellas drawing dead, and he departed in sixth place. Bazeman11 moved up to 10.7 million, good for second in chips, and inquired about the state of the chip leader's keyboard.

Bazeman11: how much juice u got left in that battery earl?
Earl Hindman: no idea its been low for 3 days now lmao
Earl Hindman: its hanging on for dear life

Back at the bottom of the pack, gortsos picked up pocket sixes in the big blind and called JNETS's small blind shove. JNETS turned up A♣J♥ and hit an open-ended straight draw when the flop fell Q♣T♦9♠. The turn blanked with the five of spades and the 9♣ river gave gortsos a double-up to 7.97 million. Two hands later, K. Ichinose took his T♠T♥ up against Earl Hindman's A♠T♣. The pocket tens held up and he doubled to 10.7 million, while Earl Hindman fell to 15.5 million.

Earl Hindman briefly lost the chip lead to JNETS, but snatched it back when he called Bazeman11's preflop three-bet shove. Earl Hindman's K♦K♣ held up against A♦Q♥ and Bazeman11 hit the rail in fifth place. Earl Hindman moved back up to 22 million in chips, but a few hands later, his top pair of kings went belly-up when JNETS rivered threes and deuces. Although he had turned down previous requests to look at numbers (the keyboard didn't have that kind of time!) Earl Hindman was ready to discuss a deal at last and the action was paused.

JNETS - 18,729,652
Earl Hindman - 17,706,329
K.Ichinose - 9,511,386
gortsos - 8,395,633

Both JNETS and Earl Hindman were looking for a bit more than their ICM shares. Earl Hindman asked for $103k, an additional $1,900, while JNETS was looking for $108k. Although at first it didn't appear that K. Ichinose or gortsos were willing to give up enough money, Earl Hindman proposed that gortsos take $78k, K. Ichinose $81k, himself $103k and JNETS the rest. JNETS's share came out to $107,510... not quite the $108k he was looking for but enough to close the deal. Everyone agreed to these shares and with $20,000 still on the table for the winner, cards went back in the air.

With the blinds up to 200,000/400,000, K. Ichinose opened for 868,000, gortsos three-bet to 2.4 million from the small blind and Earl Hindman moved all-in for 14 million. K. Ichinose folded, but gortsos called, his 6♠6♦ up against A♥K♥. Gortsos's pair held up and he doubled to 16.2 million, leaving Earl Hindman short stacked with 6.95 million. However, only four hands later, Earl Hindman got those chips back when he picked up A♣A♥ and doubled through K.Ichinose, who open-shoved with 5♥5♠. K. Ichinose was left with less than a big blind and Earl Hindman finished him off in fourth place on the next hand.

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When three-handed play commenced, it was a tight race-- JNETS had the lead with 22 million, gortsos held 16.2 million and Earl Hindman was right behind him with 16.1 million.

JNETS flopped the perfect hand at the perfect time when his Q♠T♠ hit a K♣J♦9♦ flop vs. Earl Hindman. Both players checked the flop, but when the 8♣ turned, JNETS led out for 1,413,333. Earl Hindman called, and went on to pay off another 3,297,777 when the 7♣ rivered. JNETS moved up to 29.3 million, leaving Earl Hindman on 8.4 million. However, six hands later, gortsos doubled through JNETS and claimed the chip lead with 27.1 million when his pocket threes flopped a set vs. A♣6♣. JNETS fell to 12.5 million and with the blinds up to 250,000/500,000, he picked up 9♣9♦ and three-bet shoved over Earl Hindman's opening min-raise. Earl Hindman was too happy to call, and turned over A♣A♠. The aces held up on the K♦J♥7♦ flop and the 4♠ turn, but disaster struck for Earl Hindman on the river. It wasn't the keyboard that would do him in... it was the 9♥, a river two-outer that gave JNETS a set of nines and ended Earl Hindman's run in third place.

Heads-up chip counts

Seat 2: JNETS (24,325,468 in chips)
Seat 5: gortsos (30,014,532 in chips)

JNETS moved back into the chip lead when his 9♠T♣ made a pair of nines on a 9♣3♣2♣A♦7♠ board. Gortsos check-called the flop, turn, and river with Q♠3♠ for a pair of threes, and JNETS raked in a 10.8 million-chip pot. JNETS moved up to 30 million on the hand and ground his stack up to 34.7 million when he picked up K♣K♥. Gortsos opened for a min-raise to 1,000,000, JNETS three-bet to 2.65 million, gortsos shoved and JNETS called.

gortsos J♠J♦
JNETS K♣K♥

It was all but over when the flop fell K♦4♦4♠, making JNETS kings full of fours. The 9♠ turn left gortsos drawing dead and JNETS locked up his first Sunday Million title.

Congratulations to JNETS on joining the ranks of Sunday Million champions! He banked $127,510.13 for the win, while runner-up gortsos earned $78,000.00.

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PokerStars Sunday Million results for 10-16-2016

Players: 5,434
Prize pool: $1,086,800.00
Places paid: 764

1. JNETS (Finland) $127,510.13*
2. gortsos (F.Y.R.O.M.) $78,000.00*
3. Conor "Earl Hindman" Shelly (Canada) $103,000.00*
4. Kosei "K. Ichinose" Ichinose (Japan) $81,000.00*
5. Jacob "Bazeman11" Bazeley (Mexico) $36,423.88
6. Brunodellas (Brazil) $25,379.17
7. Chris "OneTime1Time" Symesko (Canada) $17,683.64
8. lykD (Czech Republic) $12,321.48
9. $uper$ick785 (Denmark) $8,585.39

*denotes a four-way deal

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Kristin Bihr
@PokerStars in Sunday Million